“When you’re overwhelmed and stressed, just draw. Drawing will help.”A Past Ex
Hey all! So this was a little side project I put together back during my first year of college, i’m not sure if it actually classifies as a podcast since it has a few different conversations cut together rather than just done in one take but i’m still pleased with it! I miss having such a wide variety of like-minded individuals around, but I know more will come into my life over time. ^-^
I’ve been fighting inside of my head for almost a full decade now, so you’ll see a lot of my old work follows this theme of trying to somehow understand just what everyone else saw about this life that I didn’t. Over the years i’ve found this audio to be inspiring to me as well as a few of the people whom I shared it with, so now i’ve decided it’s time to share it with all of you.
Wishing you all the most tranquil, loving, and peaceful vibrations possible,
You ever wake up one day and just decide that you’re going to become a new person? Like you came to a realization about your usual habits and behaviour that you weren’t too enthused with, so you just consciously decided to change? And then you find out it’s a lot more difficult than you thought it would be when the idea first jumped inside your head and you’re not sure you’ve got what it takes to truly follow through with that shift from the norm? Me too, well in a way. I recently came to the realization that I was stagnating. I enjoy laying around relaxing, playing video games, reading, procrastinating on actual important things. In school I would always leave assignments until the eleventh hour which somehow ended up infecting other parts of my life to the point where I was constantly aware of things like bills, my dwindling bank account, soon to expire licences which I could’ve renewed online if i’d been proactive, etc. To sum it up I was basically sitting on a track watching a train come at me while pondering over the best course of action, and then sidetracking myself from thinking about that action resulting in doing absolutely nothing until it was either move or get hit by the train.
So I eventually decided to quit deliberating and actually do something. Sure my usual extracurricular were fun but if i’m being blatantly honest with myself than they’re all various forms of escapism which I was using to distract myself from having to make major decisions or listen to the thoughts going through my own head. This had to stop. I was at a point in my life where the sheer number of pathways I could now take having graduated college was so overwhelming in number that I locked up and couldn’t seem to follow any of them. All I was doing was retreating to my books day after day, to social media, to Netflix, etc. I was aware that I was simply letting everything pile up as my bank account drained itself drier and drier, so then came the question; what was I going to do now? I couldn’t very well just continue spinning my wheels in place.
So I got up, I took a shower, ate some food, and started thinking. What was I good at? How could I begin doing something productive with my life without confining myself to a cubicle or taking up a nine to five job? I thought long and hard into the night making a list of all sorts of potential avenues for me to take before I finally came to another realization. This brainstorming was all well and good but it wouldn’t actually accomplish anything. I was just on the edge of falling into a pattern of formulating hypothetical jobs/pathways throughout life, planning them all out from step one to thirty five, and then..nothing. I would have nothing to show for the time spent if I never actually went and physically followed up on step one. So I did. Then I took another step, and another. Soon enough I found myself laying the groundwork for future success, but then I started thinking and second guessing. I began undermining my own abilities in comparison to others, which brought me to my third realization.
In this world the one person you should never underestimate is yourself. You’re capable of more than you could possibly have imagined so don’t doubt yourself, don’t doubt your abilities. Why would any other person who underwent the same or similar training to you deserve a higher place in your mind? Why get into that mentality of, “I’m still new at this, they’ll probably beat me for this position, I bet they’re way more qualified.” cause maybe they are maybe they aren’t. Chances are you’re just as qualified as that stranger, you’ve taken steps to get there today just like they did. Anyways the more I started trying to make that my mindset the more things seem to work out, in part i’d attribute that to other people subconsciously noticing the confidence/self-assuredness I began projecting. But also in part to ‘The Law Of Attraction’ which when you take out most of the technical terms equates to the universe will attempt to create/provide for you those things of which your thoughts are focused on. You could also just say if you truly want it and work for it, one day chances are you’ll get it.
So I began chasing it. Day by day I began working after my dreams, putting myself out there, talking to people, making connections. This blog stemmed from my habit of reverting to escapism in my spare time, after doing it for such a long time the sudden life shift has been a hard thing to keep ahold of. Especially when I love each of the things I used as escapism, now i’ve most certainly not quit reading and the like but I began restricting myself to a certain amount of time for it each day. During that newly freed up block of time every day I began writing. At first just out of boredom if i’m being perfectly honest but it very quickly transformed into a genuine interest and enjoyment in writing. That enjoyment soon turned into a bit of a feedback loop, I would have some fun writing out some sort of post, receive likes and comments, and with each and every like or comment I became compelled to write even more.
Eventually though I decided that I wanted a place where I could truly write, not just social media sites or writing contests. I wanted the ability to grow a blog and format it however I wished. Something that could transform my writing from being just another time filling pastime to a viable use of time. I like to think this is a viable use of my time. Maybe I won’t ever get anywhere with this blog, maybe I will. Regardless I don’t think I would’ve been able to forgive myself had I left this as a ‘what if?’ rather than following through with it as I did. How many times in your life have you had the question of ‘What if?’, how many times have you tried something new only to fail but still be glad you tried? For me the answer is “not enough.” and that is something I sorely feel needs rectifying.
Dream loudly, live peacefully, and spread those loving tranquil vibes,
How do you all spend your time when you can’t sleep? For most of my life i’ve been an insomniac and having grown up in a family which was very homeopathic in it’s remedies I often find myself just accepting the wakefulness and finding ways to occupy my time. I also absolutely hate the feeling of swallowing pills or even just using a pharmaceutical remedy for something so small such as the inability to fall asleep when I know it’ll remedy itself once my body reaches the point of being so exhausted it just passes out. I’m aware that’s not the most healthy thing to do but i’ve become used to it. Anyways what remedies do you usually employ when you’re struck by a sense of restfulness and the kingdom of sleep eludes you?
Now having decided to avoid the pharmaceutical route I ended up scouring the net for a variety of different ways and well, most were unsuccessful there were a few I found merit in. That age old counting sheep trick has never once worked, actually now that I think about it i’m not sure I even know anyone that it’s worked for, huh.. Kind of odd. Well moving on, one of the most effective ones I found was surprisingly a focus exercise. All you need to do is get in the position you usually find most comfortable for sleep and get all your blankets nicely positioned, now visualize a candle surrounded by shadow. What you’re going to do is try to synch the flickering of the flame with your breathing, feel the shadows grow stronger every time the candle flickers, slowly over time the idea is to diminish the light your candle gives off until eventually it winks out and the darkness reigns supreme. By the time you’re swallowed by the darkness you should be asleep, or at least that’s the idea. This one while being more successful than the others is still rather unreliable; however i’ve found most sleep techniques to be unreliable so that’s not saying much.
A great one that I stumbled across which I pretty much always employ even when sleep hasn’t been eluding me is to lower your room temperature, which in most parts of the year translates to sleep with an open window. Not only does it seem to improve quality of sleep but that fresh air is really noticeable especially if you live with other people, in which case it’ll probably make your room smell better then theirs. It may not actually smell better or that different, but the comparison between the stale air from most of the house to the fresh air you let in from outside will most certainly be noticeable. In college I was often told I had the best smelling room in the house even though fresh air was pretty much my main secret for that…well okay that and an essential oil diffuser but regardless that natural air makes a difference!
I often came across sites screaming that if you used the “4-7-8” breathing method than you could learn to always fall asleep in under a minute. Puh-lease, maybe that trick works for some people but I barely noticed it having any effect. I will recognize though that if your problem is that you can’t seem to relax before bed than this may actually help you. Maybe. It gets you to place your tongue behind your front top teeth and exhale enough that you make a ‘whooshing’ sound, inhale through your nose to a count a four before holding it for a count of seven, then exhale for eight seconds through your mouth making that noise from before, essentially you’ve now done the technique and you’re just supposed to rinse and repeat until it works. Personally i’d say if you already have the control over your emotions to maintain a relaxed/calm state of mind then this will probably do absolutely nothing for you.
Yoga and meditation are both extremely useful for calming your mind and working through a bit of your excess energy so that you can just crawl under your covers before succumbing to sleep, although other times I find meditation will keep you awake so it can be kind of hard to find the correct balance. Also a lot of people tell you to avoid looking at your clock as it can give you anxiety over your sleeplessness, while in some cases this may be true it really doesn’t matter too much if you can lower the importance of time in your mind. Accept that sleep will come when it comes or it simply won’t, any stressing done over it will simply keep you up longer so release time of it’s importance. After that looking at the clock doesn’t really matter, but you also won’t be inclined to look at the clock for the same aforementioned reason.
My personal favourite activity for getting to sleep when it’s eluding you is to go through your usual nightly routine, get all curled up in bed, and then begin to read. Try and pick something that interests you but not to the point of interest that you’ll keep yourself up until dawn trying to finish it. If you’re like me and speed read everything try and slow that process down, really savour each and every word you can allowing (over time) that drowsiness to settle in. Eventually you’ll probably reach a point where you’re ready for sleep, give into that drowsiness and let yourself drift off. Especially because if you power through that drowsiness you’re likely to read until morning utilizing a fresh wave of energy and that’s really not what you wanted from this. Now while this is certainly a personal favourite and one I almost always employ, you should be aware that it can be a long time before that drowsiness sets in, sometimes even two to three hours. Even then its not assured.
Of course there is one technique which almost always cuts right through my insomnia letting me sleep, sleeping with someone else. Now i’m not saying that in the more lewd expression of the phrase although that would most certainly tire you out, but in the more innocent but still physical way. Cuddle up with someone. I’m not sure about the exact science to it but this will almost always work for me, it’s warm, cozy, comfortable, safe. You can zone out to the hypnotic rhythm of their breathing or the beating of their heart. Some part of me always realizes that I could wake them up through tossing and turning so i’ll try to remain still as much as I can and usually that stillness transforms into unconsciousness. I’ve never had the chance to find out aside from once when I passed out on a couch cuddling with a cat, but i’m fairly certain that the presence of an animal also has the same effect to a certain extent.
I didn’t mean to wait so long in the day to make this post but sleep was proving rather elusive last night so my schedule is a bit off. However i’m certainly going to try my best not to get too far off schedule with this blog, currently i’m trying to post on the daily with the occasional day having multiple posts but we’ll see how that changes with time. I want to keep doing daily posts, and I will but i’m going to keep an eye on how things go for the few first weeks so I can try to avoid burning myself out. If anyone has any suggestions on how they keep themselves from running out of things to post about while staying within a niche, than I would love to hear them. I mean i’ve got some ideas for how things are going to go but it’s always nice hearing about the process of others.
Peace, love, and tranquility,
How do people always stay so completely dedicated to a task? Even when it’s something I really enjoy there’ll come a point in time where something else becomes super tempting and i’ll switch focus for a little bit. It’s like there’s always something dedicated to pulling you away from your work even if that something is just a sudden urge to clean your house, although that’s more procrastination. Anyways before I let myself get distracted from writing this, here are some quick tips for staying on focus.
One way which I find works especially well for me is telling other people what you plan to do, like set a goal for yourself and then mention it in a conversation to them. Every time you’re about to miss a day or drop the habit you’ll remember saying to them that you were going to do it on the daily and you’ll feel sort of compelled not to let them down, thus getting you back into doing it. I feel like blogging is going to be a bit like that for me, over time when my interest starts to wander i’ll just have to think back to the few likes or comments that pop up from time to time. I absolutely hate letting multiple people down so the more readers there end up being, the more dedicated to not letting you all down i’ll become.
Think back to what first made you interested in the thing, often those reasons why you began can end up being the sparks to reignite your passion for it. Also reflect on whatever time and effort you’ve already worked into it, acknowledge that effort. Why would you want to waste it? Time is precious and it’s sands are constantly slipping through our fingertips so don’t look back, keep at it. The best things in life usually require a bit of hard work so you might as well continue taking step after step on your journey, for you’ll get nowhere on your path if you keep changing directions. Or I guess in other words, just hold yourself accountable.
Reach out to others in that niche community, talk about what you’ve set out to do, see how they started out and how they kept at it day after day without break. Ask for their strategies, their dreams, talk about your dreams. We’re pretty much in this together and it only gets easier when we help each other reach for the stars.
Also as you may have noticed I often love to mention meditation, I mean why wouldn’t I though? It has so many wonderful uses. With meditation you can centre yourself and calm your mind. Once you’ve done that it’s much easier to take a non emotionally influenced viewpoint of your own priorities and see where the thing, whatever it is, stands among them. You could also meditate on why you keep getting off topic/distracted, maybe even clear the hangup stopping you. Or at least understand the steps you need to take in order to stay committed to it.
I feel a bit like I’m rambling but honestly this post is as much for me as for you. There’s also all of the generic ones we all know but seem to be bad at following through with; remove yourself from your phone/social media, remove yourself from any other distractions, keep a scheduled time to do it, take breaks, watch what others do and follow their examples, work in a clean/clutter free place, work in a well lit place, and of course let yourself fail, forgive yourself, and try again.
Anyways I don’t think I really have anything else to add right now but we’ll see what techniques I end up employing as I continue down this road. Stay at it, whatever that it is for you be it sports, writing, acting, engineering, dancing, anything. Whatever it is, I assure you it’ll get easier with time, and as it gets easier so too will you improve! As always, peace, love, and tranquil vibes. ^-^